Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bike Friday One Way Tikit

Check it...Got a new Tikit. It is a fixed gear model called the One Way Tikit. This is a model Bike Friday produces as a built to order option. It comes with a fix/fix rear hub. I made some component swaps and additions to personalize it a bit.
Thomson post and stem
Ti railed Specialized saddle
Carbon Easton bar
Paul Love Levers
Avid SD-7 brakes
Dura Ace 7400 series 170mm cranks with a matching loose ball DA 113mm bottom bracket
Niner YAWYD top cap with a "Seal of the Peculiar" bottle cap
Wisecracker bottle opener on the post.
Planet Bike blinkie on a custom mount to the right side seatstay brazeon - left side would be better for traffic - but it nests harmlessly in the fold on the right side...
Clamp-on ODI grips
Wireless Cateye computer
MKS Tour-Lite Pedals
Arundel stainless bottle cage
Light in Motion Vega light

Everything else is stock. I had to work on the rear hub. It came from BF with the axle width at 120mm. The rear end was set at 130mm. It was bolted on and the axle nuts compressed the rear end down to 120mm. I did not like it that the assembly was under such tension so I added spacers from another hub (Surly) to respace the axle to 130mm. The stock axle is hollow, so I cut it and installed a quick release. Works like a charm and will make flipping the hub relatively easy. I will still have to adjust the dropouts to take up chain slack. I am running a 53-14 now. It is a great all around gear combo for where I live. I may, however, do what Walter did and install a 13 on one side and a 15 on the other.

Even though these dropouts are super cool, I wish this bike had fork ends for easy flip flops. I asked for fork ends when I ordered it but they said it was not available like that. Oh well. Maybe they will offer it in the future and I can simply remove the rear end and replace it with another....Walter??


Less tech and more ride in the next post...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bikes, Fire, Dogs, Beer, Smores, Midnight

Last night John, Jim and I rode the JCC as we do most Wednesday nights. This time, however, John was man enough to stash a 5 gallon bucket in the woods near the top of the hill where we usually break. He did this a few hours before the ride. Incidentaly, he locked his young kids in the car as he ran off into the woods with said bucket. Must have been a real scene for anyone who may have happened to be looking out their window as he disappeared into the woods. Don't get me wrong...he's a good Dad....just a little kookoo for cocoa puffs, if you catch my drift....

Normally, each of us carries a can of beer or two for a trailside, nightride break. This time, John's bucket was filled with ice, beer, hot dog wieners, buns, graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, mustard and chipotle hot sauce! After the customary hang-out sesh on John's front porch, we got on the bikes and headed for the hills. Yes, one can ride to the trails from John's neighborhood. How many MTBers are that fortunate?

We finally arrived at the top where the bucket was stashed, Jim gathered dead-fall and made a rippin fire. We each found long, skinny sticks to skewer the dog into the fire. There is no better hot dog than one cooked over a campfire! Not even a ball park dog can compare. It's that good. After a couple of dogs, we skewered the marshmallows and made smores! Mmmmm Mmmm! Tasty!

Oh yeah, the ride was awesome! Great spring weather, trail's in super shape, couldn't ask for better company. Good times. Thanks Jim and John!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Bike Art for the Masses

My friend sent me this mail this morning:

Is this a way to boost cred or watch it drop?

I'm talking about this little deluxe emoticon group graphic:

~~~ __o
~~~ _ <_
~~~ (_)/(_)

To which I cleverly responded:

My dearest Matthew,

Your letter finds me in sincere gratitude of your next pearl of wisdom! Yet I must admit, I am not impressed with this assemblage of dashes parenthesis and etcetera which I presume to crudely represent a cyclist at speed. His frame, incomplete; his tires, flat; his head, detached! How does he create this trailing turbulence??

To answer your question, if you are looking for 'cred' from retards...I think your 'art' is a cred rocket booster!! Otherwise, prepare for a short steep trajectory back to earth, my friend, where you will surely be consumed with great


Monday, April 2, 2007

Nitto Dream Bars

This narrative is of a dream I had last night about a good friend of mine...

I had a dream about you last night

Marie and I traveled to visit you, Kristin and Owen. You and your folks were living in some hippie part of town where the predominate architectural feature on most of the houses in the neighborhood were the carcasses of old cars hung, stacked or balanced on the exterior in what seemed a non-functional, purely whimsical arrangements. You were working on some steam generated fountain idea to which you had assembled a vertical tower of recycled clear plastic bottles and vases. Through some trick of thermodynamics, you had a heat source at the base of the tower that boiled a measure of water without melting the plastic! When hot enough, the water pressure increased such that the water rose in the tower and upon reaching the top, exited through the fountain head where it cascaded back into the basin and was recycled. I got too close and the mal-adjusted fountain head soaked me with scalding hot water! Whoops! But all was well, because the same heat-defying properties that saved the plastic tower from death by fire, also saved me form third degree burns from the scalding, or what should have been, hot water! We laughed about it in a good natured way.

What does that mean?
I dunno....the radio was not on at the time and the only drugs I had were Benedril and an inhaler. Wild.

I built the front wheel for my Rambouillet this weekend. The fork is going to be shipped from Rivendell soon. With the front and back wheels rebuilt, we have almost recovered from the accident. While I wait for the fork, I may take the cork bar wrap off, replace the Nitto 90mm Tech. Dlx. with a 80mm I have and rewrap the bars with two layers of brown Cateye cotton tape. I recently wrapped the bars on my Paramount with the Cateye tape and I really liked it better than the stuff you get from Riv. It is a little more flexible which makes it lay down smoother when going around curves and such. I am going to wrap two layers for a thicker grip. I'll bind the ends with hemp string and apply at least ten layers of clear shellac for a durable, waterproof, grippy textured finish. Maybe I'll film the whole process as a DIY resource.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bike Friday - The Pocket Randonneur

Since the Rambouillet is waiting for a new fork, the only roadish bike left in my garage is a Bike Friday Pocket Lama. The Pocket Lama is Bike Friday's tourish bike that is usually seen with flat bars. I don't like flat bars for the road, so I had a new stem built to replicate the 'cockpit' dimesions of my Rambouillet. I even sent BF a Nitto Noodle bar to have it cut and sleeved for packing. Diacomp 287 aerolevers are compatible with the longer cable pull required for the v-type brakes. The addition of bar-con shifters mounted on Kelly Take-Off's, planet bike fenders and a Nitto M-12 front rack complete the conversion of this bike to a Pocket Randonneur...or at least, that's what I call it...

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Please pass me a fork...

This is semi related to the previous post about my bike wreck. When I got my heap of bike home that day, upon closer inspection with a set of Park Fork Alignment tools I borrowed from my friend John, I determined without a doubt that my fork was bent. The alignment tools, which attach to the dropouts and allow the user to observed all axis of alignment relative to the fork tips. As such, however, it cannot define the exact location of a misalignment. Well, at least in this case, it could not since the misalignment is represented as the left dropout a few millimeters behind the right...or maybe it's visa-versa. Judging by the buckle at the top of the left blade near the crown and the corresponding crack in the clear coat on the front side of the blade opposite the buckle, it's pretty obvious which blade is bent and where the bend is located.
So the fork did it's job. It took the impact and failed...but it did save the frame. A 'stronger' fork may have transferred the impact to the frame where the headtube would deflect and the result would be a buckle on the underside of both the top tube and the down tube. That would have been $1250 to replace the frame rather than $200 to replace the fork!
There are two options here. The fork is cro-moly steel and can certainly be straighted and ridden but knowing that a bend with a buckle is serious and given that the fork is a major structural member of a frameset, I elected to call Rivendell and order a new fork.
Who answered the phone but Grant Peterson!
"Rivendell Bicycles, this is Grant."
"Grant Peterson??"
So am I a dork or is it pretty cool that the owner of a world renound company and a legend in his own time answers the phone to take an order? I think it's pretty cool even though it is probably not all that uncommon given any cottage industry.
But I did have Grant Pertersons and I gave him some ideas for a new line of 650B wheeled freeride bikes....
No, I ordered a new fork which may be two weeks out.
In the mean time, I relaced my back wheel. I wanted to reuse the spokes so, without doing any research for options, I am sort of locked into using Mavic Open Pros again. Aside from being orageously expensive, these are excellent rims. They are pretty light at somewhere near 400 grams and are double eyeleted which I really like. I also like the welded seam and machined sidewalls. Finally, I got silver rims to rpelace the dark anodized Open Pros becasue I think the silver rims look better on a classic style bike like the Rambouillet.
Since I am reusing spokes and hubs, I am married to the lacing patterns I had on the existing wheels. That is, radially laced on the front wheel and 3-cross / radial on the back wheel. After lacing the and tensioning the back wheel, I now wish I sprung for new spokes and at least built the back wheel 3-cross on both sides.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

T-Bones & Red Meat

It finally happened. I hit a car this weekend while riding on the road. I was on my regular 25 mile road loop through the older urban neighborhoods of Birmingham. On one of the several downhills on the loop, I was rolling at about 35mph - tailgating a Tahoe. Suddenly, he slammed on his brakes and made a quick left without signaling. I grabbed two handfuls of brakes and went into a full-on sideways drift. For a glancing moment, I thought I might be able to haul the bike to a safe stop, but my field of vision quickly filled with gleaming American plastic as I plowed my bike and the right side of my body into his left rear quarter panel. In retrospect, it feels weird to replay this scene. Of course, from the moment I saw the brake lights to the instant ass met asphalt, is all in slo-mo. I had so many thoughts during the few seconds it took to decelerate. The most notable thought being the realization that yes - I am going to hit this car. I was feeling that went with the thought was not fear. I was not scared. I was pissed! I was so angry that this SOB had no regard for the traffic behind. If he absolutely needed to make a left, rather than slam on the brakes, putting everyone behind him in sudden reactionary mode, he could have passed the turn and continued down the street where he could have properly signaled know the rest. Bottom line was that I was pissed that this inconsiderate asshole was alive and in front of me.
I slammed into the side of his truck with a solid thud - all 180 pounds of me. I was too preoccupied trying to gauge the amount of damage my bike suffered to look at his newish Tahoe. I hope I left a body-sized crater. I hope it costs $3000 to fix his truck. I hope insurance won't cover it since we did not call the cops for a report!
As soon as body/car/bike came to a full stop, I jumped up off the pavement and started yelling. I was hollering so loud that people started to come out of their houses. I called this guy every name in the book. I asked him - at the top of my lungs - if he knew how to use a fucking turn signal? He had the balls to retort that, yes, he did know how to use a turn signal. I shot back, frothing at this point, that he did not use it this time.
I think the guy was genuinely concerned. He listened without further comment to my rant until I calmed down. He hovered in my periphery as I surveyed the damage to my bike. Unless mumbling 'fuck' as I inspected the folded rims, bent fork and torqued bar converstion, there was no other discourse between us. I sent him on his way. I told him I appreciated his concern. He was probably so releaved that we both walked away with no greater consequence that whatever money would be spent on mechanical repairs.
Alone now, sitting on the curb, trying to beat my rear wheel true caveman style, I conceded to the fact that I would need to relace new rims. I called my buddy Jim who lives nearby and requested a ride home.
REPAIR UPDATE: Bike still in repair stand waiting for a new fork.